FAO in Mozambique

Hope restored to flood-stricken farmers in Mozambique

In early January 2015, heavy rains triggered massive flooding in northern and central areas of Mozambique. An estimated 50 000 people have been displaced and the livelihoods of a further 160 000 have been affected by the floods, mainly in Zambézia, Nampula and Niassa provinces. Livestock was washed away, crop fields submerged, vital infrastructure (roads, bridges, irrigation schemes and markets) damaged and homes destroyed.

Belita Pereira Rodrigues is one of many affected farmers. Despite having lost everything, she is now hopeful that things will get better.

“I have five children, and for many years I have lived with my family in the village of Furquia, Namacurra District, Zambézia Province. My husband works in Maputo and visits us only once a year. Because of the floods [of January 2015], we had to leave everything behind and are now here at the Mucoa Resettlement Centre. We only survived because we received support but since January we have been depending on aid. Now, with these seeds and hoes FAO has given us, we will be able to resume our [agricultural] production. Now, we can go on with our lives.

After the floods we were left with nothing. Our house collapsed; it does not exist anymore. We lost everything inside - clothes, food, even our stocks. Our seeds have been washed away, our work tools went with the water, our plates, beds, everything.
After all the suffering we have been through, we want to stay here in the high part of the village. It is safer, we do not want to return to the lower zone. We will only continue growing our crops in the fields there because the land is more fertile. We will plant the seeds FAO has provided for us so that we can sustain ourselves, and sell any surplus at the market.

We could not even rescue our animals. We had animals and raised them, over 30 chickens, chicks and two goats. They, too, went with the water and now we do not have any livestock. This does not help us: we used to give the children eggs and during big festivities we ate a goat. It is a precarious life we are living now. But we will invest in agriculture to recover. We used to store our production in a silo. Some day, we will have a new one. It is a great quantity of seeds we have received here, it is enough to resume our lives. I have finally regained hope that the future will be good, thanks to this support FAO is giving us.”